Performers take show online to spark conversations about death

mortal yarns

During these uncertain times and with daily reports of the death toll resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, talking about death, dying and grief has never been more important. Unfortunately, due to the necessary social distancing measures that are currently in place, many of the events for Dying Matters Awareness Week, in which people would normally find opportunities for these conversations, have been cancelled. However, in response to this pressing need, many groups and organisations are finding ways to offer their events online.

One such group is Norwich-based performance company Off the Twig, who create work that encourages conversations about death, dying and grief. Their current show, Mortal Yarns, which has been made possible by support from Arts Council England, Rosedale Funeral Home and Norfolk County Council, was due to to take place in venues in May. With all public gatherings suspended until further notice the company are now busy adapting their performance to take place online.

Storyteller Su Squire and shadow theatre artist Zannie Fraser will be collaborating remotely with each other and director Charlotte Arculus from their own homes to create the performance which will be shared live with an audience via Zoom during Dying Matter Awareness Week (May 11th – 17th).

A vital element of the performance is the opportunity for audience members to join in with informal discussions on the themes of the show (usually over tea and cake). Performer Su Squire, who also hosts events for the Norwich Death Cafe, is passionate about the importance of talking with each other about death, dying and grief – “It’s not the easiest of subjects to start conversations about but something extraordinary happens when people talk about death. It’s still quite a taboo subject in our culture but in reality when we break that taboo and talk with each other about this very important aspect of the human experience, this thing that we all have in common, we often feel a real sense of connection with each other.”

Off the Twig’s latest show, Mortal Yarns, will be taking place online via Zoom throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week on Friday 15th May at 2pm. To get in touch to book your place please use their contact form which can be found on their website or by clicking here.

For further information on Mortal Yarns and Off the Twig, please visit